Article Abstract

Preterm birth and single nucleotide polymorphisms in cytokine genes

Authors: Qin Zhu, Jian Sun, Ying Chen


Preterm birth (PTB) is an important issue in neonates because of its complications as well as high morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of PTB is approximately 12-13% in USA and 5-9% in many other developed countries. China represents 7.8% (approximately one million) of 14.9 million babies born prematurely annually worldwide. The rate of PTB is still increasing. Both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors are the major causes of PTB. Inflammation is regarded as an enabling characteristic factor of PTB. The aim of this review is to summarize the current literatures to illustrate the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of cytokine genes in PTB. These polymorphisms are different among different geographic regions and different races, thus different populations may have different risk factors of PTB. SNPs affect the ability to metabolize poisonous substances and determine inflammation susceptibility, which in turn has an influence on reproduction-related risks and on delivery outcomes after exposure to environmental toxicants and pathogenic organisms